Han Tao

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Han Tao
Water Margin character
First appearance Chapter 55
Nickname "General of Hundred Victories"
Rank 42nd, Majestic Star (地威星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Tiger Cub Scouting General of Liangshan
Origin Imperial drill instructor
Ancestral home / Place of origin Dongjing (present-day Kaifeng, Henan)
Weapon Lance made of jujube wood (棗木槊)
Simplified Chinese 韩滔
Traditional Chinese 韓滔
Pinyin Hán Tāo
Wade–Giles Han T'ao

Han Tao is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 42nd of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 6th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "General of Hundred Victories".


Han Tao is from Dongjing (東京; present-day Kaifeng, Henan). He wields a lance made of jujube wood and excels in martial arts. He serves in the imperial army as a drill instructor in Chenzhou (陳州; present-day Huaiyang County, Zhoukou, Henan). He is nicknamed "General of Hundred Victories" for his might and expertise in warfare.

Becoming an outlaw[edit]

Gao Qiu, a corrupt Grand Marshal, is furious with the Liangshan outlaws after they captured Gaotangzhou (高唐州; present-day Gaotang County, Liaocheng, Shandong) and killed the governor Gao Lian, who was his cousin. He requests Emperor Huizong to send an army to eliminate the outlaws. The emperor places Huyan Zhuo in command of the imperial army and assigns Han Tao and Peng Qi to be his deputies. During the battle between the imperial forces and the Liangshan outlaws, Han Tao fights with Liangshan's Qin Ming but is no match for the latter. He barely escapes when Huyan Zhuo joins in and covers him from Qin Ming's attacks.

Huyan Zhuo deploys his chain-linked armoured cavalry formation to attack the outlaws and score a major victory. Tang Long recommends his cousin, Xu Ning, to Liangshan's chief Song Jiang as the person capable of destroying Huyan Zhuo's cavalry formation. Xu Ning trains the Liangshan infantry in the use of the unique hooked lance. The Liangshan forces eventually overcome Huyan Zhuo's cavalry formation and defeat the imperial army. While escaping in a frenzy, Han Tao is lured into a trap set by Liu Tang and Shi Qian, who capture him and send him to Liangshan. Song Jiang treats Han Tao with respect and succeeds in persuading him to join the Liangshan band.

Campaigns and death[edit]

Han Tao becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan cavalry after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny. He follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong. During the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, Han Tao is assigned to lead an attack on the enemy-controlled city Changzhou. He engages the enemy general Gao Keli in a fight and falls off his steed after being hit in the face by an arrow fired by Gao. Gao Keli's companion Zhang Jinren then seizes the opportunity to spear Han Tao in the throat and kill him.